HỌA ÂM XƯA - THE ALBUM
After much hard work and anticipation, Soul Revival’s debut album, “Họa Âm Xưa” (“Old Harmonies”), is finally ready for release in November of 2019. This is the band’s first attempt to capture their own sound while making a sincere effort to honor the original composers, singers and the golden era from which this golden music (nhạc vàng) came.
Those who are familiar with pre ’75 Vietnamese music will realize that Saigon Soul Revival has utilized modern elements and quality production techniques to create this album. This fusion distinguishes it from the original recordings of the 60s and 70s, as well as current commercial music and has resulted in a unique and contemporary sound that recalls the nostalgic vibe of Saigon while remaining relevant in today’s hyper-technological environment.
The album includes eleven tracks in total, six of which are original compositions written by Saigon Soul Revival, which match the alternative stylings of the other songs on the album. Some of these compositions include traditional Vietnamese instruments that represent the historical heritage of Vietnamese music and contribute a deeply folkloric timbre that defines the country’s culture.
Four tracks on the album are reworks of popular and obscure pre ’75 Vietnamese compositions.
The title “Giây Phút Cuối Tuần” was recorded as a duet with the famous (pre ’75) Vietnamese singer Mai Lệ Huyền, to pay respect to the original artists of the time. This may very well be the first ever Vietnamese ska style song ever recorded.
“Hào Hoa” features nationally acclaimed Saigonese rapper “Blacka” who lays down an epic verse with his southern Vietnamese flow, bringing the voice of Saigon’s youth together with the sounds of its past.
The compostion “Tình Nhạc Sỹ” (1955) from the famous Vietnamese composer Minh Kỳ, is an unreleased/unrecorded composition that was nearly lost in time and has now been completed and recorded for the first time. The intention is to bring a dormant song to life and raise awareness of the abundance of Vietnamese art and music that was never completed, restored or properly preserved.
Original compositions “Vỡ Mộng Ân Tình” and “Chuồn Chuồn Xanh”, feature renowned traditional instrumentalist Nguyễn Thị Hải Phượng on đàn tranh and đàn bầu, who contributes a deep ethnic quality to the music that is purely Vietnamese and ethereal in its nature.
A message from Saigon Soul Revival
“The touching lyrics and raw emotions in these old songs help us further appreciate Vietnamese culture and gives a better understanding of this beautiful country’s heritage and its people. We feel this music possesses a powerful human element that ought to be known internationally. It is as exciting of a journey for us to discover these forgotten sounds and stories, as it is to share it with the rest of the world. We wish to share this beautiful music and remind Vietnamese people of different ages and backgrounds that they have much to be proud of.”